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Subject: ETHRC UA 9/98: Rape
Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 15:29:05 -1000
From: ethrc <>

EAST TIMOR HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE 124 Napier St Fitzroy 3065 Australia PO BOX 1413 Collingwood 3066 Australia Tel: +61 3 9415 8225 Fax: +61 3 9415 8218 E-mail: Director: Ms Maria Brett Chair: Bishop Hilton Deakin ________________________________________________________________________

URGENT ACTION 24 June 1998

NAME: Rosita Gomes Pereira (female)


LOCATION: Ermera district, East Timor

Ref: UA 9/98 ________________________________________________________________________

The East Timor Human Rights Centre (ETHRC) has received information from reliable sources that an East Timorese woman, Rosita Gomes Pereira, was raped on 1 May 1998 by members of the Indonesian military. Mrs Pereira made an official report about the incident to the local Catholic Church and to the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross), presumably in the hope of bringing the perpetrators to justice.

According to Mrs Pereira's account, she was in the hamlet of Darnei where she resides, in the village of Poetete, Ermera district, when Indonesian soldiers raped her at 11am on 1 May. She was standing with her two month old baby in her arms when the Indonesian soldiers approached her. One soldier held her from behind while another soldier lifted her skirt and proceeded to rape her. She made unsuccessful attempts to flee with her baby. It is believed the rape occurred while Mrs Pereira's husband, Domingos da Costa, was in the fields farming.

The identities of the perpetrators are not known, however, it is believed the soldiers responsible were from the Lulirema Military Post, located at the village of Coliate in Hatolia, Ermera district.

The ETHRC calls on the Indonesian authorities to conduct a full and impartial investigation into the rape of Rosita Gomes Pereira and to prosecute those found responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

Background information

The rape of Rosita Gomes Pereira is a continuation of a pattern of sexual abuse of East Timorese women by members of the occupying Indonesian security forces. In 1997, the ETHRC submitted a report to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women titled "Violations by the State Against Women in East Timor". The report focussed on gender-specific violations being perpetrated by the Indonesian authorities against East Timorese women, namely, rape and other forms of sexual abuse, sexual harassment, forced "marriage", the use of women as sex "slaves" or "comfort women" and forced prostitution.

To obtain a copy of the report contact the ETHRC. Ref no: R 7/97 dated 7 November 1997.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send faxes/telegrams/express/airmail letters in English, Bahasa Indonesia or your own language:

* Calling on the Indonesian authorities to conduct a full and impartial investigation into the rape of Rosita Gomes Pereira and to prosecute those found responsible to the fullest extent of the law.


1. PRESIDENT YUSUF HABIBIE President of the Republic of Indonesia Istana Negara Gedung Binagraha Jl. Veteran Jakarta Pusat INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 345 7782 Telegrams: President Habibie, Jakarta, Indonesia E-mail:

2. MILITARY COMMANDER REGION IX/UDAYANA (includes East Timor) General Syahrir MS Pangdam IX/Udayana Markas Besar KODAM IX/Udayana Denpasar, Bali INDONESIA Telephone: +62 361 228 095 Telegrams: Pangdam IX/Udayana, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

3. MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Ali Alatas S.H Menteri Luar Negeri Jl. Medan Taman Pejambon No. 6 Jakarta INDONESIA Faxes: +62 21 360 541 / 360 517 / 380 5511 / 345 7782 / 724 5354

4. SECRETARY GENERAL, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS Prof. Dr. Baharuddin Lopa Sekretaris Jenderal, Komisi Nasional Hak Azasi Manusia (Komnas HAM) Jl Latuharhary No 4 B, Menteng Jakarta Pusat INDONESIA Phone/Fax: +62 21 392 5227 Email:

Please also send appeals to:

* Diplomatic representatives of Indonesia in your country * Parliamentarians and the Foreign Ministry in your country

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY Check with the East Timor Human Rights Centre if sending appeals after 5 August 1998